In response to the recession and resultant organisational restructuring, employee opinion within the financial services industry has changed dramatically over the last year.
But there is still hope for the sector, according to the latest data from ORC Perspectives.
Across all industries, confidence in senior leadership has seen a steady increase; for the financial sector these levels have dropped from 63% for 2008 to 50% to date in 2009.
However survey managers shouldn’t feel overly disheartened, as 50% is 3% above the benchmark score for all organisations within the database.
It is a similar story for employee advocacy – whether employees view their organisation as a great place to work, and whether they feel satisfied with the job opportunities their organisation presents them with.
In 2007, 74% of employees working within the financial sector would recommend their company as a great place to work, a figure which has dropped to 66% to date in 2009.
Our experience shows that the downturn is affecting development opportunities and workforce size, which is making it increasingly difficult for organisations to offer opportunities to progress up the career ladder.
However if the best talent is to be retained as economic conditions improve, it is vital to ensure that these opportunities are still available.
Interestingly, the percentage of staff who suggest ideas to improve the way things are done within their organisation has remained stable over the last three years (81% in 2007, 82% in 2008 and 82% to date in 2009).
However in 2009, employees do not feel as safe to speak up and challenge the way things are done as they have in the last two years.
This is likely to be related to only half of financial services employees feeling secure in the jobs in 2008, a 10% drop from 2007.
Innovation and staff input are key for surviving the recession.
Organisations should reassure their people that their ideas and suggestions are valuable, that it is safe to challenge, and that channels are in place to make the most of this resource to ensure business processes are as effective as possible and able to adapt to the dynamic economic conditions.
Communication about the future direction and how this affects staff is another effective way to gain staff buy-in and to boost motivation.
Encouragingly, the percentage of staff who feel they are kept well informed about matters affecting them has increased from 53% to 61% over the last year, in line with other industries.
Whilst employee opinions have worsened in some areas, it is clear that there are some key opportunities to engage staff in financial services and to use this to ensure business success post-recession.
About ORC Perspectives
ORC Perspectives contains data from just under 300 organisations and more than 1.4 million
employees from the UK and overseas, all of whom have conducted surveys in the last two years. ORC Perspectives is one of the largest, most robust and flexible databases in the UK, having been established over 11 years ago.
We specialise in helping organisations ensure they fully use their research results by providing external benchmarking data enabling organisations to:
- Make comparisons against overall and sector specific norms across a wide range of questions and topic areas, providing an essential external context against which you can judge your results
- Identify where there is room for celebration and cause for improvement, harnessing the ability to set realistic, achievable, targets by providing a representation of your position relative to others
5 November 2009